MastewebNews 30/11/15 - Saving Anambra State From Governance Of Legacy Destruction & Indebtedness (1)

[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety & Anambra CLO report ] - (Onitsha Nigeria, 28th November 2015)-The leaderships of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) and Anambra State Branch of the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) have resolved to call on the Government of Anambra State under His Excellency, Mr. Willie Obiano to concentrate on governance of the State and pay warm and friendly attention henceforth to the good private and public affairs and conducts of his predecessor, His Excellency, Mr. Gregory Peter Obi. Former Governor Peter Obi and his towering legacy in the State should be celebrated at all times and not vitriolic attacks and vilification he undergoes presently in the hands of those he labored so much to establish for the purpose of moving the State further to enviable heights. The Obiano administration must also restrain itself from sinking the State into serial indebtedness and resist returning same to the dark era of fiscal enslavement and governance without clear and development oriented policy direction. The Governor is further advised to relief any of his aides, including media aides; attracting negative image to his Government or directly or indirectly making his administration to lose focus of governing the State; of their duties.

 

We had in recent past made similar calls and further advised the Governor to trim down the number of aides working for him; because too many cooks, they say; spoil potential good soup. Our speaking out followed the recent unhealthy development or rivalry between the camp of the Governor and his predecessor. Such rivalries are not only unnecessary but also have the capacity of derailing the governance of the State and launching the State back to the path of backwardness and infamy. We wish to state further that measurable governance successes are not achievable through media propaganda or media noise making, but by governance realities on the ground. Names are also not written in gold by engaging in obvious legacy destruction, but by embarking on positive governance activities that can stand the test of time.

 

Making steady negative reference or unfavourable public comments against the man that worked so hard to put smiles on the faces of the Anambra People, who Governor Willie Obiano himself, has severally acknowledged publicly; is totally counterproductive and self-hurting. It is important to remind the Governor that the governance records of his predecessor are like gold that can never be stained or destroyed by anybody or a race. The records are also like a newspaper that can easily be picked up at any street corner, read and digested.

 

We have also long realized that Nigeria is like land of the blind; where the achievements of one-eyed leader are mostly seen among the blind as an anathema particularly in the corridors of power. That is to say that because most of the public office holders in Nigeria are failures, they can go to any length or do anything to sustain the legacy or culture of failure including by engaging in legacy destruction of few who are great achievers of modern times.

 

Our keeping quiet in the public affairs of the State for some time is not out of fear or cowardice, but to watch and see the governance direction of the Obiano administration and its expected consolidated development plan for the State and its people. Our advocacy campaign styles are steadily anchored on constructive criticism. That is to say that we criticize and condemn government and its actions where and when necessary and commend same with proffered solutions where and when necessary.

 

Obi’s Cash & Investments for Anambra People: Putting the Records Straight: We have watched with total dismay the steady politicization of the cash and investments secured and left for the people of Anambra State by Mr. Peter Obi and his former administration. It is also shocking and worrying that rather than consolidating on the towering legacy left for the State by former Governor Peter Obi, a culture of intractable parasitism has steadily been hung around the neck of the legacy by the present Government of Anambra State, as if the State is destined to sink or cannot proceed and progress without the Obi’s cash and investments.

 

Elsewhere in Lagos State, former Governor Babatunde Fashola left a huge public debt of N311Billion for his successor; Governor Akinwunmi Ambode. The huge public debt excludes over N200Billion inherited from former Governor Ahmed Bola Tinubu in 2007; yet governance has not collapsed in the State under the Ambode administration. Former Governor Fashola was even rewarded recently by the Buhari Presidency with headship of three key federal ministries of Power, Works and Housing. In Delta State, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa recently disclosed publicly that he inherited contractual liabilities of N535Billion from his predecessor, former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan. Till date, former Governor Uduaghan has not statistically refuted or denied the gubernatorial disclosure of dishonored huge contractual obligations. The DMO’s official records also showed that Delta State owed over N235Billion in local and foreign debts as at May 2015; yet governance has not collapsed in the State.

 

Instances of States where their new governors inherited hundreds of billions of naira worth of local and foreign debts as well as multi billion naira contractual liabilities for completed and commissioned projects are numerous to mention. In a number of States, their federal fiscal allocations are cut by 30% or more through the Irrevocable Payment Standing Orders (IPSOs); popularly called “deductions at source”, for the purpose of compelling the affected States to honor or meet their repayment terms required for State bond(loan) approvals and repayments.

 

But in Anambra State, the reverse was totally the case under the former Peter Obi administration where the State, for the first time in many decades, was governed and left in near-zero debt and huge cash and investments credit or surplus. As a core stake holder in the State public governance till date, we have done several thorough and independent investigations in matters of public finances of the State including public local and foreign loans as well as issue of honoring or dishonoring of contractual obligations. Most of the investigations were done during the Obi administration and after his administration’s exit.



On the issue of public debts, for instance, the total unsettled public debts under the Obi administration, which were remainder of debts incurred by previous administrations in the State; stood at N7.9Billion; comprising foreign loan of $30.32 Million or N4.85Billion and local debt of N3.02Billion (see DMO’s sub national public debts report of December 31st 2013, which was same in March 2014). The State’s local debt as at 31st December 2012 stood at N14.2Billion, while its foreign debt then stood at $26.7Million or N4.1Billion; totaling N18.4Billion. That is to say that the two debts decreased from N18.4Billion in December 2012 to N7.9Billion in March 2014. The same DMO’s public debts report of December 31st 2014 (for sub national local debts) and 30th June 2015 (for sub national foreign debts) indicates that while Anambra State local debt has slightly decreased from N3.02Billion to N2.87Billion, its foreign debt has increased from $30.32Million in December 2013 up to March 2014; to $45.15Million in December 2014; bringing the two loans to a total of N12.07Billion as at date (using official exchange of N200.00 per US$). Former Governor Peter Obi left office for Governor Willie Obiano on 17th March 2014.

 

The two debts overhang under reference did not include the controversial loan of N10Billion recently secured or about to be secured by the Obiano administration. The conditions attached to the publicly and futuristically harmful loan, tagged “CBN Infrastructure Development Facility (loan) of N10Billion for Anambra State November 2015”; are shocking and alarming. The loan facility of N10Billion is to be repaid by installments and paid fully in 20 years or 240 months using Irrevocable Payment Standing Order or deductions at source; at interest of 9% or N11,909,295.002 (Eleven Billion, Nine Hundred & Nine Million, Two Hundred & Ninety-Five Thousand, Two Naira). That is to say that with N10Billion borrowed today, a staggering sum of N21.9Billion will be repaid including its principal of N10Billion and interests of 11.9Billion. There is also a report that the Obiano administration has put machinery in motion to raise another bond (loan) of N50Billion from local sources. Anambra State may most likely end up incurring between N150Billion to N200Billion debts by the end of the Obiano’s first tenure in the next two years.

 

See the following links to the Debts Management Office (DMO) of the Federation for more details:

 

 
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